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Old 08-30-09, 11:26 PM   #1
bonechilling
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Old-Ass Specialized Trispoke or Old-Ass HED Disc?

I have a pair of old Specialized trispoke wheels, first generation carbon composite, which I've adopted for track use. I have the opportunity to pick up an older HED disc for about $100, and I can use the same over-priced track adapter kit which I bought for use on the Specialized on the HED disc, then probably just sell the trispoke on eBay for a quick few hundred.

I am a strong mass-start racer, and not a pursuit specialist or someone who really excels at any of the individual effort races, so it is not as though I need it to shave a precious fraction of a second off somewhere. I'd imagine the the nature of the materials (solid carbon composite vs. hollow carbon walls) would make the trispoke some measure stiffer, which might benefit me more than a disc, but we all know that the disc is inherently more aerodynamic, and probably stiff enough for my 130lbs self.

So if you had to choose one or the other, would you have an old flexy trispoke wheel or an old flexy HED disc? This is for use at an outdoor velodrome, by the way.
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Old 08-31-09, 06:49 AM   #2
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A disc is cool looking, yeah, but I think an old HED disc will be heavier than a TriSpoke. I'd stick with the lighter wheel since mass start tends to emphasize jumping around a bit, and both are pretty aero compared to other wheels out there.

I believe the TriSpoke will also be better as far as banging it around. I know I am not very careful with mine and they've lasted forever (I bought them new or almost new). I jam as many wheels as possible into my car at times, and it's not a pretty sight. The HED discs, the old ones, puncture and dent relatively easily, and there's a lot area to puncture and dent.

Both wheels would be better. If you can do a day on the track where you can swap wheels and do maybe steady speeds and monitor HR (assuming no SRM or similar), you can see if there's a difference. Sell the wheel you don't want. Can you do that? $100 for a disc, I'd jump on that.

If you can't, buy the disc and sell it to me for $200 shipped. lol.

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Old 08-31-09, 07:41 AM   #3
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Like you, I'm relatively light, about 135 lbs, and I currently have two sets of race wheels. My old school wheels were built over 30 years ago, and are 28H bladed with shallow V Araya track rims on Campy high flange hubs. They are light, stiff and fast and I use them for all my mass-start racing. I also have a Zipp rear disc and a Zipp 404 road front, which I use for timed events and sprinting. The Zipp disc is heavier than the old spoked wheel, but it is the ultimate in stiffness, which is why it is preferred by really big and powerful riders. The aerodynamics of the rear disc is a secondary consideration, unless you are doing a long TT event. One thing to consider with the front wheel when used on an outdoor track is that on windy days a deep section or fat solid spoke wheel can get blown around a lot, especially if you are relatively light like you or me. I had a Mavic IO front, which I had to sell, because I could not control the sucker on anything but perfectly calm days. I don't know how much the HED disc weighs, but if it is more than 1500 grams, I don't think the added weight is justified by the increase in stiffness when used in mass-start events.

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Old 08-31-09, 09:02 AM   #4
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Where do you race? Outdoors or indoors. At some tracks I keep the disc in the truck because the winds are strong or unpredictable.

For mass start - in general, I'd go with the tri spoke. more maneuverable in a pack.
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Old 08-31-09, 11:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by iluvfreebeer View Post
For mass start - in general, I'd go with the tri spoke. more maneuverable in a pack.
Man that is just wrong.

Unless it's outside, there is going to be no perceptible difference in 'more maneuverable', in fact the stiffer wheel is the one all other things being equal that will handle better.

If you look at the worlds, there's plenty of disc use in scratch, points and madisons.

I've used a disc in points and scratch to the level of masters worlds. Bike handling is fine. I find the disc provides no advantage in holding wheels, but does provide an advantage when covering gaps, especially when those gaps are forming at speeds in the mid to high 50's (km/h).

If it was me I'd ride and race on both wheels if possible and make your own mind up.
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Old 09-01-09, 08:06 AM   #6
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Alright, I think I have been swayed. General consensus seems to be that the HED disc is flexier than a wet paper towel, and not very light to boot, so it doesn't really benefit me as a mass start racer. If this were some super stiff and light Zipp disc, I might keep it around, but as it is, I could really use the money since I just moved and am about to start cyclocross season.

I would love to be able to hold onto the disc until track season starts again, and then test out the wheels in various races, but that's not realistic unfortunately. On the other hand, these discs really are a dime a dozen, so maybe I'll turn one up this winter for cheap. Thanks for the advice.
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